Let Me Know Where I Am Wrong…


If it’s a tax, as I’ve heard the majority opinion of the Supreme Court has stated, then it is no less legal or objectionable than the public education system.

After all, the system currently in place for public education basically mandates that all children shall be educated, and that all tax payers shall pay for the provision of public education. Now, parents have the choice to take advantage of the publicly provided education system, or we may choose a private education for our kids. Parents are also allowed to choose to educate our children at home with a bit of government oversight.

(The fact that my family has chosen a private education for one child and homeschooling for the other may be an indicator of our beliefs about the quality of government-provided services such as a public education. Actually it may indicate less than at first glance. We were in the habit of homeschooling and private education in Memphis long before we continued the habit in Columbus, where the reputation for public education stands heads and shoulders above that in our previous city.)

Back to the analogy that I began before the parenthetical diversion…

We choose to educate our children within the parameters of the government mandate that they be educated, AND no matter our choice of educational venue, we are required to pay the tax for the provision of public education for all. The new health care system is similar. All will be mandated to have health insurance, there will be publicly available health insurance, AND there is a tax levied toward the public expenses of such health insurance.

But this is where the analogy breaks down.

For, the public education tax is a tax because it is levied upon all. The health care tax, as I understand it, will only be levied on those who choose not to be covered by health insurance. The punitive nature of this “tax” makes it not a tax at all, but a FINE.

The way I see it, if it is a TAX, we should either accept it as legal, just like the public education system OR decry the atrocities of the public education system in an appeal based upon the same logic. If it is a FINE, as I currently believe it appears to be, then we cannot accept it as legal upon the “tax” logic and we must either A) find some other grounds upon which to call it legal, or B) declare it illegal.

I admit, I didn’t pay the attention in my high school civics class that it deserved. Nor did I in my college government classes. So, as the title reads, let me know where I am wrong.

© Dr. Phil Bryant

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